Tonight I offer this prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Fill us, we pray, with Your light and life,
that we may show forth Your wondrous glory.
Grant that Your love may so fill our lives
that we may count nothing too small to do for You,
nothing too much to give,
and nothing too hard to bear.
Teach us, good Lord, to serve You as You deserve:
To give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do Your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is a prayer that I have often found useful in my prayer discipline. Good because it reminds me each time I say it God built me for love and that in the small actions day to day I may very well be doing God’s will. It reminds me that in doing the small things and giving as much as possible and enduring what comes my way that God is by my side.
From time to time I need to be reminded that giving, fighting and labouring for God’s good should not cause me to seek rewards or to complain about the cost. I think we all need that sense of reminder. If we get too far away from where we are supposed to be and if we lose focus of who we are we can forget and become selfish and self focused. This parable illustrates my point.
ONCE THERE was a man lost in the desert, near death from thirst. He wandered aimlessly through the burning sand for many days, growing weaker by the moment. At long last he saw an oasis far in the distance. Palm trees indicated a source of water!
He stumbled forward feverishly and fell beneath the shade of the trees. Finally he might slake his tortured thirst. But then he noticed something strange about this particular oasis.
Instead of a pool of water, or a well, or a spring bubbling up from the ground, the man found a pump. And beside the pump were two objects—a small jar of water, and a parchment note.
The note explained that a leather gasket within the pump must be saturated with water for the pump to work. Within the jar was just enough water for this purpose.
The note also warned the reader not to drink from the jar. Every drop must be poured into an opening at the base of the pump to soak the heat-dried gasket. Then, as the leather softened and expanded, an unlimited supply of sweet water would be available. The parchment’s final instructions were to refill the container for the next traveler’s use.
The man faced a dilemma. He was dying of thirst, and he had found water. Not much, of course. Maybe not even enough to save his life. But it seemed the height of folly to pour it away, down the base of the pump. On the other hand, if the note was accurate, by pouring out the small quantity of water, he would then have all he wanted. What should he do?
God calls us to give what we have in order that all may drink from the spring of life and salvation. We work for God’s glory and so we continue to pray …
“Teach us, good Lord, to serve You as You deserve:
To give and not to count the cost.”
I wonder if this message isn\’t also connected to true forgiveness. If we remember that there\’s something bigger to our small design perhaps it\’s easier to not count costs, not hold grudges and trust in the master weaver.
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